Types of Talk During Peer Interaction in Preschool Play




Lott Salisbury, Hannah

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Social influences can have a great impact on how children develop language. There is currently a large amount of research on how adults can affect language development, but significantly less on how peers affect this development. The effect peers have on language development was examined in a study by Mashburn, Justice, Downer, and Pianta (2009). Results from the previous study indicated that when children interact in preschool settings, the achievement gap for language abilities widens between children with high-level language abilities and children with low-level abilities. In this study, I examined the talk of children with high- and low-level language scores. I conducted an observational study examining the talk of children with high-level language scores and two children with low level language scores. Talk between peers was observed and recorded, then analyzed with respect to how much children with different language skills talk to their peers, and the genres of talk they are using. Findings indicated that the children with low-level language scores engaged in talk less. Also, certain genres of talk accounted for more of the talk for all of the children, but children with high-level language scores were better able to engage in longer, more detailed talk. These findings



Preschool, Talk, Language, Peers, Early childhood